John Barber (Editor in Cheif of IDW) introduced Alan Roberts (Beauty of Horror), Hannah Templer (Cosmoknights), Gabriel Rodriguez (Locke & Key, Sword of Ages), Delilah S. Dawson (Star Pig, Star Wars), Aaron Mankhe (Wellington, Lore), Drew Zucker (Canto), David M. Booher (Canto), and Bobby Curnow (group editor at IDW and writer of Ghost Tree) to the assembled audience.
Mankhe’s podcast, Lore, focuses on strange myths and folk culture and in the course of researching, he discovered Spring-Heeled Jack, the leaping creature of English folklore. The legend set London on edge and one of the historical figures who tried to calm the panic was the Duke of Wellington. That incredible discovery set his mind towards the concept of the Duke as a secret monster hunter. Dawson had tremendous fun and difficulty mixing the supernatural into the real world, having to actually find the layout of the Duke of Wellington’s home and incorporate strange and wonderful trophies into the real space. Manhke pitches the series as Supernatural meets Sherlock Holmes
Star Pig follows a girl who nearly dies on the way to space camp, a camp in space obviously, but is rescued by Theo, a giant space tardigrade. It’s a love song to the 90s and what America loves about space. Dawson was always saddened by the story of Laika, so she rectified that by rescuing Laika and cloning her so that Laika not only lives but everyone can have their own personal Laika.
Canto has been a surprise hit for IDW. Canto is a fable about a race of tiny tin men who live to feed the furnaces for reasons they are not worthy to know. They cannot have names and their hearts have been replaced with clocks and when it runs out, into the furnace they go. But Canto has a name and he has a love and her clock is damaged. So now he must venture out to save her and challenge his place in the world. Booher called the series a mix of The Wizard of Oz and Dante’s Inferno, with plenty of other influences sneaking in. Zucker specifically compared Canto to Ghostbusters and TMNT in the sense of his changing perspectives and understandings of those films as he grew older.
The story wraps up with issue #5 but the panel announced that it will continue, both in the Canto and the Clockwork Fairies one-shot, which comes out in May, and also Canto II in Summer (July?) 2020. Clockwork Fairies will serve as an on ramp that stand alone but also catches up new readers. Booher promises that the final issue will leave fans with a question that will be answered by Canto II.
Barber also announced a new series, Bermuda by John Layman and Nick Bradshaw. Bermuda is a young woman who was transported to another world as a child. It’s a place of mismatched time where dinosaurs and aeroplanes exist together. Often travelers venture into terminals, like the Bermuda Triangle, and try to escape. But Bermuda doesn’t want to escape, this is her home and we’ll learn a lot more about it when Bermuda lands in April 2020.
Curnow promises that TMNT #100 will be a seismic shift just like issue #50 but an order of magnitude larger. Baxter Stockman is mayor now, a large portion of the city has been mutated, and there’s a new turtle in town. Both #99 and #100 will be double sized just to fit into the massive story and lead to a new world brought to us by Sophie Campbell.
There will also be a deluxe hardcover of issue #100 in January that will collect and expand the oral histories of the IDW Turtles that have been running in the books.
G.I. Joe has just relaunched with a vastly different flavor. Rather than present the traditional status quo, this series finds Cobra utterly ascendant, with G.I. Joe on the ropes and forced to recruit everyday people to join the fight. The series will bring humanity to the Joes and explore how regular people can stand up and do the heroic thing in the face of evil.
Transformers has also been rebooted recently, exploring the world of Cybertron before the war. In order to fully explore that world, IDW has launched a new series, Transformers: Galaxies. We had heard at San Diego Comic Comic Con who the future stories would feature but now we were told the artists for all of those arcs. The second arc will be Cliffjumper, drawn by Alex Milne. Then Umi Miyao looks at Arcee and family. Finally, in June, Brandon Easton and Andrew Griffith will spotlight Ultra Magnus.
Speaking of artist reveals, IDW has been making Star Trek comics for a long time but now they’re taking on the mysterious and highly anticipated Star Trek: Picard. There’s not a lot that they can say, but they revealed that the series with be drawn by Angel Hernandez.
The cult favorite netflix show comes back to comics with Glow vs. The Babyface. Templer will return to the series as artist. Amy Garcia and AJ Mendez (aka AJ Lee) are coming on as a new writing team. This arc will be about a boisterous ten year old shows up at the gym and how she causes chaos.
Cosmoknights comes out on October 22nd. Cosmoknights are mech-suited warriors who compete in cosmic jousting tournaments to win the hands of princesses. But when the tournament arrives, the cosmoknight Pan helps her princess friend escape. That seems like the end of her rebellion but when two injured, female osmoknights, who compete to win and free princesses, crash in front of her, she finds a new adventure. Temper calls it a story “where queer women get to be the heroes and we don’t die”.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has been a massive success but all good things come to an end. Season 9 will mark the end of the show, but it will not be the end of IDW’s comics. IDW’s book will continue on as the official Season 10. “Everything you love about Pony isn’t going anywhere.”
Barber says that TMNT and Sonic have defied industry convention by selling a little better each issue.
Sonic and Usagi Yojimbo will both be representing IDW at Halloween ComicFest with free issues of each. The Usagi book will reprint a favorite of Barber’s, the Zylla story, in full color. There will be new Usagi and old, with Usagi Yojimbo: Color Classics, printing the original strips in color for the first time. Turtles colorist Ronda Pattison will tackle colorizing this classic series.
Alan Roberts announced The Beauty of Horror volume 4 yesterday but attendees at this panel got to see the book trailer for Tricks and Treats first. Not only that, the series will expand into a full tarot deck, black & white or colorable, through a kickstarter starting October 22nd.
Gabriel Rodriguez is returning to Locke & Key with the rest of the original team. He called Locke & Key a project that grew beyond the creative teams plans and expectations. They’ve become “as real as real for us and our readers and supporters”. Dog Days will be an exploration of the story of Chamberlin Locke and his ancestors in the Golden Age. Dog Days wile followed by two more stories, one set during World War I and a secretive longer story to wrap out the Golden Age. Rodriguez could not say more about the final story but said that “The stuff of dreams can lead you to hell.” Then, finally, with the Locke family story closed, Locke & Key will turn to a new story, growing out of Locke & Key: Nailed It. The core of the series is about how humans interact with magic and realizing that human problems cannot be magically solved without addressing our humanity.
Attendees were given a double ashcan of both Wellington and Joe Hill and Martin Simmonds’ Dying is Easy.
A fan asked if the success of Whisper and Tangle might lead to future Sonic miniseries. Barber offered a very confident yes and revealed that there is already at least one more in the works, but you’ll have to wait a little longer to find out more.